chapter  3
12 Pages

Openness and Freedom of Information in Local Government: Concepts and Issues

The meaning and significance of openness in government depends to a large extent on its context(s), the persons involved in particular issues and circumstances, and the aspirations and intentions of individuals. Freedom of information may then be seen as a partial or subordinate form, or area, of openness in government. This is because in recent times the term has become associated not with a particular ideology, institutional ‘model’, or ideal type, but with procedures and subordinate aspects of government. The meaning and practice of freedom of information has been built up piecemeal and without much prior intent; it has grown rather than been designed. Furthermore, the meanings of these terms, as well as the practice of openness and freedom of information, change from time to time and from context to context.